William Hill chairman calls for positive outlook

William Hill chairman calls for positive outlook

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Gareth Davis will deliver an upbeat message at EiG

William Hill chairman Gareth Davis believes that the gaming industry should portray itself in a more confident and positive manner.

The head of the UK’s biggest gaming company will appear at EiG 2015 in Berlin in October as the main speaker in an ‘Outside In’ presentation called ‘Improving Industry Reputation’.

Davis – the former chief executive of Imperial Tobacco – is well aware of the nature of opposition to gambling from some quarters, but wants to see a more upbeat outlook.

“There is an assumed negativity about an industry that has regulation, and that’s total nonsense,” he told TotallyGaming.com.

 “Every sector has its detractors – whether that be gaming, tobacco, pharmaceuticals or energy. There is always an opposing view, but the best thing you can do is positively engage with the regulators to ensure that a well-informed public make decisions that are correct for them.

“We are providing a leisure activity that millions of people enjoy.”

Davis, who took over at William Hill in 2010, also called on the industry not to run scared of “hysterical media headlines fuelled by single-issue pressure groups” and added that problem gambling is “particularly low” in the UK.

“I think the industry’s reputation is generally good and it deserves to be good,” he said. “We contribute a huge amount in funds to help research into problem gambling and work closely with the Gambling Commission in its objectives of keeping the industry away from minors and crime.

“Our reputation is constantly evolving because our work with regulators and other interested parties is a continuation. Just because an industry is controversial does not mean it can’t be well run and make a contribution.”

* EiG 2015 takes place at Arena Berlin from October 20-22. To find out more or register please visit www.eigexpo.com

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